Die Rückkehr des amerikanischen Realismus

NEW YORK – In der amerikanischen Außenpolitik gibt es zahlreiche, immer wiederkehrende Debatten - wie beispielsweise Isolationismus versus Internationalismus oder Unilateralismus versus Multilateralismus. Keine dieser Debatten erwies sich jedoch als so langlebig wie diejenige zwischen den Verfechtern der Position, wonach es der prinzipielle Zweck der amerikanischen Außenpolitik sein sollte, das Verhalten anderer Staaten nach außen zu beeinflussen und jenen, die meinen, dass man eher die inneren Strukturen anderer Länder gestalten sollte.

Diese Diskussion zwischen den „Realisten“ und den „Idealisten“ wird seit langem heftig geführt. Während des Kalten Krieges gab es auf der einen Seite diejenigen, die meinten, die USA sollten versuchen, die Sowjetunion „zurückzudrängen“, den Kommunismus niederzuringen und ihn durch demokratischen Kapitalismus zu ersetzen. Andere hielten dies in einer von Atomwaffen definierten Zeit für zu gefährlich und so entschieden sich die USA stattdessen für eine Politik der Eindämmung, mittels derer man den sowjetischen Macht- und Einflussbereich beschränken wollte. Nach 40 Jahren der Eindämmung zerfiel die Sowjetunion samt ihrem Imperium, obwohl dieses Ergebnis eher ein Nebenprodukt der amerikanischen Politik war und nicht ihr grundlegendes Ziel.

George W. Bush war Verfechter der „idealistischen“ Position, wonach die Förderung der Demokratie die oberste Priorität in der Außenpolitik der USA zu sein hätte. Bush hing der Theorie des so genannten „demokratischen Friedens“ an, die besagt, dass Demokratien nicht nur ihre eigenen Bürger besser behandeln, sondern sich auch gegenüber Nachbarn und anderen Ländern positiver verhalten.

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